Be a parent, not a babysitter

by. Erin Templer

During CUES Symposium: A CEO/Chairman Exchange earlier this month, presenter Nilofer Merchant made this analogy: She said we often treat our work like we’re a babysitter, not a parent. Merchant is the author of The New How: Creating Business Solutions Through Collaborative Strategy and 11 Rules for Creating Value in the #SocialEra.

Think about a babysitter’s mindset, Merchant explained. A babysitter is not concerned with what the child ate, how he or she spent their time, or whether they took a good nap. The question the babysitter asks at the end of the day is: Did I keep the kid alive on my watch?

Parents, on the other hand, take a very different point of view. They think about a bunch of things–small things like making sure their child is eating a nutritious meal, getting plenty of rest, treating others with respect. They’re also thinking beyond that. They’re thinking about things like: Am I guiding them toward becoming a productive member of society?

The major difference between the approach of a babysitter and the approach of a parent is purpose. Purpose brings out the best people, and the best in people.

How do you strengthen or awaken purpose in your credit union? Among your members? In your community?

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